You'll catch me smiling on "Poem in Your Pocket Day" because my kids get so excited about making copies of their favorite poems and folding up the papers so that they easily slide into their pocket(s). FYI, my kids carefully choose their outfits for Poem in Your Pocket Day because of course, pockets are the main features. When we arrive at school on Poem in Your Pocket Day, it feels electric - super charged up with excitement. Classmates show each other where they are carrying their poems and they discuss which poem(s) they chose. If only these kids could continue to be this excited about poetry forever, the world would be a sweet, poetic planet!
Here’s the scoop on what this day is all about: On Poem in Your Pocket Day, start by choosing a poem. Then carry the poem with you in a pocket and pull it out to share with others throughout the day. You can celebrate this at school, work, at the hockey rink, nail salon or I don’t know, maybe a place called social media. Have you heard of this place called social media? Add a hashtag #pocketpoem and share it with a few thousand.
Poem in Your Pocket Day is always celebrated in April because April is the month of Poetry but the date changes every year - it is not always the same date each April. Interestingly, according to the National Poetry Month website the date for this holiday this year is April 27th but Nationalcalendar.com sites the date as April 17th. I am going to go with April 27th because if it was on April 17th the entire school missed the date and that would be impossible. According to both sites, the history of this special day started in New York because of a partnership between the Office of the Mayor and the NYC Departments of Cultural Affairs and Education. National Poetry Month brought the collaboration of these groups together in 2002. The Academy of American Poets then urged all fifty states in the US to join in on the celebration in 2008. Last year, Canada celebrated it's first Poem in Your Pocket Day. It looks like we’re on to something here! This national day is relatively new but I hope it sticks around F-O-R-E-V-E-R because poems are powerful.
The only official gifts I require from the hub for both my birthday and Christmas is a card with a hand written poem in it. I love his poems - they are far from being sappy or drippy with emotion - but because he wrote them, the effort is worth millions. His poems always make me laugh and they always rhyme. My poems always rhyme too. I enjoy writing poems and usually I write a poem as a thoughtful pinch. In fact, I don’t write poems for any other reason. My poems are always given to someone. Last year, for Memorial Day I wrote a poem for families of soldiers and I wrote a poem for my sister-in-law for her birthday (click here for the reason I didn't send a bday gift). This year, I added a poem to the teacher gifts for Earth Day.
I have always admired those who could recite a poem by memory; especially poems that don’t rhyme. I think kids have an easier time memorizing because they don’t have a million other things to think about. My son’s class will host a “Poetry & Punch” event at their school in May as the culmination of learning about poetry throughout the month of April. Each student will recite a memorized poem in front of their classmates and parents. Followed by cups of punch and treats of course. Parents are obliged to recite a poem as well. I chose a poem months ago and I can’t even memorize the first line let alone the other eleven lines. Considering that I can’t memorize the poems that I have written myself, I’m in trouble because the teacher warned us to start the memorizing process back in January.
Poems are great thoughtful pinches because they could either be written by you or you can choose your favorite published poem and share it with anyone or THE one. So remember this whenever you are in “pinch” and need a gift for someone who may already have everything. Or you need a new way to show someone you care about them. Or you want to make someone laugh. Or you want to impress. Or you want to express yourself and share it with others. Think about how unique this pinch is! Chances are, no one will show up with the same gift as you.